NaPoWriMo Day 7 : Detention

NaPoWriMo Day 7 : Detention

“Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that argues against, or somehow questions, a proverb or saying. They say that “all cats are black at midnight,” but really? Surely some of them remain striped. And maybe there is an ill wind that blows some good. Perhaps that wind just has some mild dyspepsia.  Whatever phrase you pick, I hope you have fun complicating its simplicity. Happy writing!”

The prompt today was the perfect opportunity to use the phrase that had confused me as a child. Here’s my poem for today. Happy Reading!

"A rolling stone gathers no moss," the teacher said,
peering at me through her bi-focal glass, that stood
precariously at the tip of her serpentine nose
I froze
Annoyed- that would be putting it mild
She looked like she was in a frenzy, her eyes, black and wild
I held my silence, this was power at play
The defining moment- that invited a detention at the end of the day!

"What do you think this is?" she said, waving my assignment in the air
I worried the staple pin would get stuck in her hair
"Go back and do it once more!" she bared her teeth
And I scurried to my seat, my legs trembling beneath
Back at my desk, back bent over my book,
too scared to lift my head and look
I pondered upon what she had said, 
in my little head.

'How can moss be good?' I wondered, at a loss.
Better roll. Who wants to gather moss-
Dense, damp, green clumps growing out of nowhere
It grew on my hands and spread to my legs, my back, everywhere
I couldn't breathe.
'Stop!' I screamed, jumping up from my seat. I saw her seethe.
I'd rather be dead,
I mused. Her face was red.

"What do you think you're doing?" she spit fire.
"The consequence of your behavior will be dire!
I nodded meekly. Was there a way to disappear?
She added. "It's detention for you, do you hear?"
Today, tomorrow, the entire year!"


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23 responses to “NaPoWriMo Day 7 : Detention”

    • Thanks so much Sonia. I’m so glad to hear you say this. I wondered yesterday when noone commented, why it hadn’t made anybody smile, leave alone laugh. Now, I’m satisfied now. Thank you!

  1. This put me right there! I wanted to jump to your defence saying: “Why would The Rolling Stones want any moss to begin with?!” 😀 I have the favourite line again. It’s this: “I worried the staple pin would get stuck in her hair.” Hihih! Excellent!

    • Thank you Manja🤗. Ha ha…then we would both be in detention. Your comment made me laugh. You picked a line I enjoyed writing. Lol. Thank you again💛

  2. This verse sparkles and is hilarious! Speaking as a retired teacher, I hope you know that not all teachers are like this, although my first grade teacher came close! 🙂 Have a great day, Smitha!

    • Thank you for your lovely comment, Cheryl😊. Don’t worry, I do know all teachers are not like this- my mom was a teacher too! And fortunately, I’ve had some amazing teachers whose confidence in me, helped me, far more than they think. I’m absolutely certain you were like them when you taught.
      My 4th and 7th grade teachers were like the one in the poem😀. To have a first grade teacher like this must have been terrible.
      Thank you Cheryl for reading and writing back. Have a wonderful day!

  3. Poor you Smitha! We all have those moments when someone thought we should understand and we just didn’t get it – I sometimes look back and cringe but I also feel great sympathy when I read about a child being misunderstood in this way.

    • Andrea, the quote confused me as a child, but the poem is imaginary, thankfully. I’ve had my share of being misunderstood by a few teachers and these are memories that somehow never dull with time. And though the experience wasn’t pleasant then, I can look back and laugh now.
      I’ve seen it happen with my girls too…and it’s not easy to see it. Thank you Andrea for writing back. It’s always wonderful to hear from you.

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